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April 1, 2014 | 8 Comments

Great show on March 29! You sang a song called "Argonne" and I wonder if you wrote it?

Nancy G.
Ashland, OR


Yes, I wrote it, to an old tune "Lowlands" so instead of "Lowlands, lowlands, away my boys" I sang "All gone, all gone away, my boys, all gone away." I wrote it after seeing the picture in the paper of President Obama laying wreaths on the graves of several American soldiers who died in World War I, and I thought someone should say yet one more time that it was a senseless war that slaughtered a whole generation of Europeans and that laid the groundwork for World War II. Those men the president honored (and rightfully so) should never have fought in that war and, beyond that, General Pershing's tactics were all wrong. Twenty-six thousand American men died in one day of fighting and press censorship kept the news of that disaster from the American public. Attention was further diverted by the Army's promotional campaign to make Sgt. Alvin York, a genuine hero, famous.


I found this song very moving. Thanks for performing it.

From a history website:
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive cost Pershing 26,277 killed and 95,786 wounded, making it the largest and bloodiest operation of the war for the American Expeditionary Force. American losses were exacerbated by the inexperience of many of the troops and tactics used during the early phases of the operation. Germans losses numbered 28,000 killed and 92,250 wounded.

Coupled with British and French offensives elsewhere on the Western Front, the assault through the Argonne was critical in breaking German resistance and bringing World War I to an end.
It was a flawed campaign that cost 27000 Americans over several weeks. It did, however, play a major role in stopping the senseless violence of WWI. War is a horrifying yet sometimes necessary part of our fallen world. It is tragic when any person dies in war. Many Americans died in Argonne, but not in vain.

As a child I knew a man, a great uncle, who was there and survived. The meekest man I ever knew. He jumped at the slightest noise--shell shock they called it. A good and kind man who, they say, was never the same again. He died peacefully in his own bed while napping. I have good memories of him, but I suspect his good memories were often crowded out by darker things.

Ah, if we could only live life in reverse, we would do no wrong . . .

Thank you Garrison for reminding another generation that, for the most part, waris not a solution to conflict. My uncle, Bill O'Toole suffered from the effects of mustard gas that was used during World War I.

Just a great memorial to those fallen soldiers. It reminded me of a show Scott Simon did a few years ago where he paid tribute to Laura Nyro singing "Save the Country" and asked "who will sing those songs today?" Thank you Garrison for being a voice in the cause.

This afternoon I toured the Civil War battlefield at Antietam where 23,000 casualties were incurred in a single day. One single day. Who learns the lessons of history? Who?

Thank you for sharing this moving piece of music with us. Wow. I like it when you make a reference to your having penned the song yourself, which makes it all the more meaningful. You needn't remain anonymous before us your audience and friends. /Sandy

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